This week The Story Bazaar tries something new, by way of a web-site called Channillo. Founded, in Indiana, U.S.A. by Kara Klotz at about the same time as I set up The Story Bazaar, Channillo is a subscription-based digital publishing platform that allows writers to share their work with readers in regular installments. There is, of course, a proud literary tradition in serialised books, witness Dicken’s ‘Household Words’ and ‘Master Humphrey’s Clock’ publications, in which he serialised ‘The Old Curiosity Shop‘ and ‘Hard Times‘ as well as Mrs Gaskell’s ‘North and South‘, ‘Cranford‘ and Wilkie Collins’ ‘The Dead Secret‘.
It currently hosts several hundred series, covering a range of fiction from Horror, through Literary Fiction, to Romance and non-fiction too, in a variety of forms – novels, short stories and poetry. Authors all write in English, but come from across the globe.
I met Kara on-line when she followed me on Twitter and, shortly afterwards, asked if I would consider placing a series onto her web-site.
It’s an interesting model, not dissimilar to the Kindle Library concept. Authors get paid every time a subscriber chooses to download their story or a chapter of their serialised book, or, as in my case and many others, proceeds are donated to a charity of the author’s choice. My charity is The Macular Society.
Channillo distributes eighty percent of payments to the authors ( or their chosen charity ), which is considerably more than Kindle and similar platforms do. The works must not be available elsewhere on the internet for free, otherwise, why would subscribers pay to read it, and must not contain unsuitable material, such as erotica or extreme violence.
My series comprises the six short stories exploring the fictional lives of some of Shakespeare’s characters after ‘their’ plays end. These, though revised, will be familiar to Readers Club members and purchasers of The Story Bazaar Compendium 2015. It includes ‘Padua Road‘, ‘A Changing Sky‘, ‘Mausoleum‘, ‘A Successful Man‘, ‘Seeds‘ and, a story begun but not yet finished, ‘Queen‘. The series is entitled ‘Not William‘ and the tag-line is ‘The Stories Shakespeare Didn’t Write’. It currently comprises approximately fifteen hundred words, with one story to add.
I have kept the series ‘cover’ (above) simple – though I may add a tumbling bust of the great man, looking horrified – at my impertinence, no doubt. The cover was made using Canva, a very useful graphic design web-site for, amongst others, authors who want to create their own book covers for free ( though it provides templates for lots of other image-based products, like posters, invitations, etc. too ). I’m sure it’s possible to create something much more sophisticated than my first attempt and I’ll be returning to this site to try to do so, especially when considering covers for my other ‘e’ books.
If Channillo subscribers like my stories I may add more and then publish the whole thing as an ‘e’ book. It is a helpful way to test the market ( and the appeal of a product ). If the tales aren’t successful there’s nothing lost, aside from a little time, and some funds will go to charity. Meanwhile I’ll have made another useful connection for the future. Maybe I’ll serialise ‘The Village‘? I’ll let you know how it goes.